You Gave Up on the Dream Career You Wanted, Now What?

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Let’s talk about how you gave up on the dream career you want. Once you have given up, what are you supposed to do next? First, a little background.

One of the most important things about hope is that it prevents you from giving up. You may be thinking, you haven’t given up on anything. Are you sure?

I ended a recent podcast episode by saying one of the most important things about hope is that it prevents you from giving up. (If you need to learn the basics of the power of hope, be sure to go back and listen to Episode 062.) I also pointed out that some people may have given up even though they aren’t aware of it.

In this week’s episode I’ll help you figure out:

  • The different forms of giving up
  • If you have given up
  • What to do if you gave up but you’re ready to try again

Your Dreams and Passions

All of us have dreams and passions and those dreams and ambitions are what put you on the path you’re on now. You have been successful up until this point for a reason. Don’t discount your ability to make your dreams come true because you haven’t done so yet.

Perhaps your initial plan was to work in your position just long enough to gain the skills you needed to move into your dream career. Or maybe you settled for your current job because you found a partner you loved and you were willing to postpone your grand ambitions for them.

There is nothing wrong with either of these attitudes or decisions. But if you have lost sight of why you started putting in the time and work on your career in the first place, or somewhere along the line you forgot that you had a higher destination in mind, you are cheating yourself.

If you’ve lost meaning in your work and given up on your dream career, then you will find yourself drifting along, silently frustrated and angry.

What Does Giving Up Look Like?

Giving up is making a decision not to go all in or pursue your dream career. In the podcast episode, What Hope Is, I said sometimes we have given up and we don’t know it. How is it possible that someone can have given up on their dream career and not know it? Because giving up can be disguised as other feelings. It can look mature, realistic, and reasonable instead of fearful and defeated.

Giving up can be disguised as other feelings. It can look mature, realistic, and reasonable instead of fearful and defeated. #AllegraIsm Click to Tweet

Giving up can be disguised as:

  • Making the best of the current situation instead of trying to make changes, i.e., telling yourself you really like staying where you are.
  • Only showing up with 50% of yourself and 50% of your potential, because that’s good enough.
  • Protecting yourself by expecting less out of life, acting as if you will feel less disappointment if you expect less from your life.
  • Sabotaging yourself from doing bigger things i.e., missing the deadline to apply for a job or educationa; opportunity.
  • Wallowing in self-doubt, playing the victim, so that giving up on your dream is not your fault.

How Can YOU Tell If You gave up on Your Dream Career?

  1. You’re bored at work, all the time.
  2. You’ve stopped trying new things for fear of failure
  3. You can’t tolerate changes, they irritate you
  4. You tell yourself you don’t want what you really want
  5. You’re losing yourself in social media and/or other people’s careers and lives
  6. You dread spending time with people who are ‘on fire’ because their energy shames you

Focus on your best things you won't have time to be jealous

Giving up your dream career hurts others

Sometimes, life can feel like you’re just trying to survive and I get that. You are doing the best you can to show up every day. But there is a cost attached to staying in survival modem. If you come home from work every day feeling tired and frustrated and just want to lie on the couch, and if you’re constantly stressed and aggravated when you’re at work… your unique gifts arent available and can’t help anyone.

We need more people to be on fire about their careers and work, there are enough people walking around like zombies. Click to Tweet

We need more people to be on fire about their careers and work, there are enough people walking around like zombies.

I saw a tweet recently that captured this perfectly:

I love Kid President so much! And I thank him for helping to illustrate that your dreams have an effect on the world around you.

How do you stop being boring and ‘come alive again’? It’s simple: you re-engage with your dreams.

You Deserve Your Dream Career

Let’s look at how to revive your dream career!

The answers you need are inside you, you just have to dig to find them. Ask yourself: why is it that you do what you do? What more do you want to do? Where do you see yourself in the future? What are your beliefs and your values? And how can you get yourself back on track? What do you want to learn to do. What relationships do you want to create or connect with on a deeper level?

The problem is that many of us feel that our dreams are ‘silly’ or maybe they’re ‘childish’ or een irresponsible. So, we end up just burying them for more respectable goals like being a nice person and a grateful career women who waits for someone to promote her to a bigger career. Who said that being nice and waiting for someone to tell you where your career should go is respectable? Or less silly?

The point is that you don’t have to give up your job or the professional progress you have made to revive your dream career. You just have to keep the burning passion alive so that you’re pursuing the dream when you can. When you do this and you remember ‘why’ you have the dream, then life will have meaning and direction again.

I need the juiciness that’s inside you. We all do. This is not a trial run, let’s go.

How to Move Forward

  1. Forget that you gave up on your dream career. Give yourself a little grace and forgive yourself for old decisions. When we know better, we do better.
  2. Invest 30-40 minutes in remembering what your dream was, adapting it to your current situation, and picking 2 action steps you can take to move toward the dream and giving yourself a deadline.

You don’t have to do this alone. If you have friends who are also living smaller than they are capable of, you could form a mastermind group or a sister circle and hold each other accountable for making changes. Today, not some day. Do I sound like this is urgent? Good, because it is.

Let me know if you need ideas or help re-lighting your fire.

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